Friday, February 27, 2015

The boys from Crikvenica

Crkva Uznesenja Blažene Djevice Marije - Church 
of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Crikvenica, Croatia
Jakubinskij's law, or Meyer–Jakubinskij's law, is a sound law that operated in the Serbo-Croatian  Čakavian dialect (you may write Č with a ch, as I will do henceforth, if your typewriter doesn’t have a Č)  in the 12th–13th century, named after Lav Jakubinski who discovered it in 1925, and sometimes also after K.H. Meyer who expanded and refined the rule in 1926.  Basically, it governs the distribution of the mixed Ikavian–Ekavian reflexes of the Common Slavic yat phoneme, occurring in the Middle Chakavian area.  The yat represented a Common Slavic long vowel. It is generally believed to have represented the sound [æ], which was a reflex of earlier Proto-Slavic */ē/, */oj/, or */aj/. That the sound represented by yat developed late in the history of Common Slavic is indicated by its role in the Slavic second palatalization of the Slavic velar consonants. Significantly, from the earliest texts, there was considerable confusion between the yat and the Cyrillic iotified a . One explanation is that the dialect of Thessaloniki (on which the Old Church Slavic literary language was based) and other South Slavic dialects shifted from /ě/ to /ja/ independently from the Northern and Western branches.  The confusion was also possibly aggravated by the fact that Cyrillic Little Yus ѧ looks very similar to the older Glagolitic alphabet's yat. An extremely rare "iotated yat" form also exists.

The Chakavian dialect may be heard in the song “Vilo moja.”  Moja is the feminine adjectival for “my” and Vilo may refer to some girl named Vilo, or to a fairy, and thus translated, “My Vilo” or “My fairy” respectively.  It may also be translated by “My villa on the Adriatic,” although that makes less sense, since the song is a complaint about speaking to someone falling asleep and not being spoken back to.  It may also refer to something else entirely.  Note that the song appears to be in normal Chakavian, which makes use of the palatal č, as opposed to the ts sound in its place, a phenomenon referred to as “non-palatal tsakavism.”

Here’s the song, “Vilo moja” sung by a bunch of young men from the town of Crikvenica, population 7,121 in 2001 - and apparently nobody has counted them since, one more handsome than the other.  A certain friend, who shall remain nameless, has declared the third guy in from the right will be his next husband.  I am not completely certain the third guy in from the right has accepted the offer, but one remains optimistic.

My Croatian is a bit rusty, so I resorted first to Google.  Since Google was obviously on drugs, I was forced to move on to guessing at a translation – which I provide below.

Hope you enjoy this music.  I found it (like my friend Jason, whose name I shall withhold) quite beautiful.

original Croatian lyrics (in the  Čakavian dialect, if I am not mistaken – I may be mistaken)
Google Translation
My guess at a better translation
Skoro saki put
Kad se mi pogjedamo
Ti i ne odzdraviš
Ko da se ne poznamo
A da mi te k sebi zvat
Kad ćeš zaspat
Prvo sna da ti rečen
Da volin te još.

Vilo moja
Ti si moj san, ti si moj san,
Al lagje bilo bi
Da si tuja mi
Da te ne poznan
Da te ne znan.

Almost saki time
When we pogjed
You do not odzdraviš
When you do not know
And that to me and to himself beckon
When will you fall asleep
The first dream that you told to
Yes volin and more.

Vilo my
You are my dream, you are my dream,
Al nave would be
If you were foreign to me
If you do not known
If you do not known.

Nearly every time
We look at each other
You don't respond when I talk to you
It’s as if we don't know each other
If I could only call you to me
As you fall asleep
Before your first dream I'd tell you
That I still love you.
My vilo
You are my dream, you are my dream
It would be easier
If you were a stranger to me
If I hadn’t met you
If I didn't know you.

And, if you prefer, here is a translation into Polish, where “Vilo” gets translated as Wróżko, for reasons which are beyond me:

Wróżko moja Prawie za każdym razem Kiedy patrzymy na siebie Ty nie odpowiadasz na pozdrowienie Dopóki się nie poznamy Ale wołam Cię do siebie
Kiedy chcesz spać Przed pierwszym snem Ci powiem Że Cię kocham Wróżko moja Ty jesteś moim marzeniem, Ty jesteś moim snem Lecz łatwiej było by
Gdybyś była mi obca Gdybym Cię nie poznał Gdybym Cię nie znał 

And now, a reward for those of you who have managed to find your way to the end of this story:

Enjoy the song, “Vilo Moja” on YouTube, sung by the Klapa Crikvenica.  Click HERE!

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